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Newly-appointed Ebbsfleet manager Kevin Watson can't wait to get busy in the transfer market

ByMatthew Panting

New Ebbsfleet boss Kevin Watson is ready to embrace the challenges ahead.

The 45-year-old was handed the job until the end of the season following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Chesterfield after a productive week which saw the Fleet collect seven points from three games.

New Ebbsfleet manager Kevin Watson Picture: Sean Aidan
New Ebbsfleet manager Kevin Watson Picture: Sean Aidan

Watson has previously stated he is ready for the job and his calm, methodical approach has already changed the mood around Stonebridge Road.

Having signed loan duo Albie Morgan (Charlton) and Marvel Ekpiteta (Newport), Watson will now be judged on all future decisions – including transfers – and results.

“It’s exciting,” said Watson, when discussing potential moves in the transfer market. “I’ve not really had to do it before but I’m looking forward to it.

“My previous management role was Bishop’s Stortford but I’ve served under good managers and I’m looking forward to it.

“If I get the boot it will be because my team is not producing and I’m not getting results. I won’t be sweating on someone above me to stay in a job which is what happens when you’re an assistant.

“Any decisions that I make that are wrong I’m sure will be frowned upon, but any that I make right will be spoken about the right way.”

Watson is also excited by the potential of his squad. His goal remains to steer Fleet to safety but he believes there are no limits on what his players can achieve.

“We’re at the bottom but we’re moving in the right direction,” said Watson.

“The immediate challenge is to be above the line, and once we get above that line – whenever that may be, hopefully it is sooner rather than later – then you start looking above.

“It’s a cliche but it’s one game at a time. Our immediate goal is to get out of the relegation zone as quickly as we can and then start looking above us.

“I’ve said to the boys that they’ll be surprised with how far we can go with what we’ve got and the ability in the changing room.”

Kevin Watson was appointed Fleet boss on a full-time basis after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Chesterfield Picture: Sean Aidan
Kevin Watson was appointed Fleet boss on a full-time basis after Saturday's 2-2 draw with Chesterfield Picture: Sean Aidan

Fleet put their five-game unbeaten record on the line in the FA Cup this weekend when fellow National League outfit Notts County visit Stonebridge Road in the first round.

The potential riches for the winners are huge, as Watson knows from his own playing career.

“It is a special competition,” insisted Watson. “I’ve been fortunate enough to play in the third round at Anfield against Liverpool when I was at Rotherham, and I played in the fifth round at Stamford Bridge for Colchester.

“They say that the FA Cup has lost its magic, but it hasn’t.

“Our boys are two games away from possibly drawing one of those big Premier League teams – that’s all it is, 180 minutes of football away from it.

“We’ll take it one game at a time, and Notts County will be tough opponents, but we’re creating chances and scoring goals now.

“We just need to tighten up a bit. We’re giving away too many free-kicks and corners which we are not defending properly at the moment so that’s something we need to work on.

“People say it’s a break from the league; yes, it is, in terms of where we are and trying to get three points.

“But it is a chance and it won’t be a case of ‘oh, it’s just a cup game’.

“Every game we set up to play in we aim to win, nobody is running away with it in this division. We don’t fear anyone.

“Notts County are an extremely talented team. I’ve watched them a couple of times and it is no surprise to see them in the top six.

“We will have to be at our best to get a result. If we don’t turn up then we’ll be out of the cup.”

Defender Jack King (suspension) and keeper Jordan Holmes (concussion) are both back in contention after missing the draw with Chesterfield.

Read more: All the latest sports news in Kent

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